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J Virol. 2007 Oct;81(20):11526-31. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Probing the flavivirus membrane fusion mechanism by using monoclonal antibodies.

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  • 1Institute of Virology, Medical University of Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, AT-1095, Vienna, Austria.


In this study, we investigated in a flavivirus model (tick-borne encephalitis virus) the mechanisms of fusion inhibition by monoclonal antibodies directed to the different domains of the fusion protein (E) and to different sites within each of the domains by using in vitro fusion assays. Our data indicate that, depending on the location of their binding sites, the monoclonal antibodies impaired early or late stages of the fusion process, by blocking the initial interaction with the target membrane or by interfering with the proper formation of the postfusion structure of E, respectively. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms of flavivirus fusion inhibition by antibodies and their possible contribution to virus neutralization.

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